HOUSTON HOTEL DISPLAYS HALF-TON CHOCOLATE SANTA: HOUSTON (AP) - Santa Claus has come to town in Houston and he's sweeter than your average holiday fellow.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A suicidal gunman opened fire at a Reno hospital campus Tuesday, killing one person, wounding two others and sending police on a door-to-door search within the facility amid the chaos.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - President Barack Obama sent Russia a clear message about its treatment of gays and lesbians with who he is - and isn't - sending to represent the United States at the Sochi Olympics.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - North Texas prosecutors are trying a second time to imprison a teen who was sentenced last week to 10 years' probation for drunkenly driving his truck into four pedestrians, killing them all.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Year-end legislation to ease Congress' chronic budget brinkmanship and soften across-the-board spending cuts moved to the cusp of final passage Tuesday, a rare display of Senate bipartisanship that masked strong Republican complaints about slicing into military retirement benefits.
NEW YORK (AP) - It's the ultimate fantasy: Walk into a store, plunk down a dollar, and with nothing but luck - really extraordinary luck - you win a giant lottery. Suddenly, you're rich as a sultan with enough money to buy an NBA team or your own island.
DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A Florida Wal-Mart employee faces charges after officials say he shot a co-worker's car window because she won an employee-of-the-month award.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida school board has decided to end a decades-long controversy and rename a high school now named for a Confederate general and honorary Ku Klux Klan leader that some historical records say ordered the execution of hundreds of black Union soldiers.
MAN TICKETED FOR TRYING TO TRADE GATOR FOR BEER: MIAMI (AP) - Florida wildlife officials say a man tried to trade a live alligator for beer at a Miami convenience store.
NEW YORK (AP) - Gallant guide dog Orlando was just doing his duty.
RENO (AP) - Family members rescued after spending about 48 hours in the frigid wilderness of northern Nevada last week spoke out publicly for the first time Monday, saying they don't think they would've lasted two more days out in the cold.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The hot molten rock beneath Yellowstone National Park is 2 ½ times larger than previously estimated, meaning the park's supervolcano has the potential to erupt with a force about 2,000 times the size of Mount St. Helens, according to a new study.
Congress targets fed workers' pensions
DALLAS (AP) - Good friends like Willie Nelson and Merle haggard got more credit for their contrary ways and trend-setting ideas, but it was Ray Price who set the precedent for change in country music more than a decade earlier.
CARMEL (AP) - Academy Award-winning actress Joan Fontaine, who found stardom playing naive wives in Alfred Hitchcock's "Suspicion" and "Rebecca" and also was featured in films by Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang and Nicholas Ray, died Sunday. She was 96.
BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (AP) - A man walks through Wal-Mart, holding something to his ear as he passes a gun case. He leans toward a shelf and steps back into view, now holding a long, dark object - a gun? - as he walks past customers, who show no obvious reaction. Eight minutes later, surveillance video from a different angle shows him farther away. Suddenly he drops the object and crumples to the floor. Two more people come into view, walking toward him with firearms drawn.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A weekend fire that tore through a North Las Vegas home with 93 small dogs - more than 15 times the maximum number of canines allowed in a house by the city - killed 45 of them and injured one man.
GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) - Hundreds of suburban Denver high school students missed school again Monday as teachers shut down two high schools by calling in sick amid a controversy over proposed changes to an Advanced Placement history class and changes to their pay.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut firefighter says in a federal civil rights lawsuit that she was unfairly disciplined by a city fire department and forced to take unpaid leave because she was pregnant.
WITNESSES: SKYDIVERS WHO DIED DESCENDED TOO FAST: BARNSTABLE, Mass. (AP) - The two skydivers killed after they crashed into a building during a tandem jump on Cape Cod appeared to be having problems as they descended, police said.
NEW YORK (AP) - When the economy tanks, women have fewer babies. But what happens in the following years, when conditions improve?
NEW YORK (AP) - Macy's plans to hire about 86,000 seasonal holiday workers nationwide to bolster its stores, call centers and distribution hubs, a 3.6 percent increase from last year.
FERGUSON, Missouri (AP) - Authorities searched Sunday for a suspect in the shooting of a police officer in Ferguson, the St. Louis suburb where there have been angry protests since a white officer fatally shot an unarmed 18-year-old black man last month.
TOKYO (AP) - Finally reaching the ash-covered summit of a still-erupting volcano in central Japan, rescue workers made a grim discovery Sunday: 31 apparently dead people, some reportedly buried in knee-deep ash.
MIAMI (AP) - A shooting sent terrified patrons scrambling from a Miami nightclub early Sunday and left 15 people wounded, including an 11-year-old child, authorities said.
CHICAGO (AP) - Teen girls who have sex should use IUDs or hormonal implants - long-acting birth control methods that are effective, safe and easy to use, the nation's most influential pediatricians' group recommends.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - A marijuana giveaway for veterans attracted about 1,000 people to a Colorado hotel.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A northern New Mexico sheriff who has fought off accusations of misconduct throughout his career was convicted Friday of abusing a driver during a bizarre traffic stop that prosecutors called a fit of road rage.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - The arrests of several protesters for writing anti-police messages with chalk on a sidewalk last year have spawned a federal civil rights lawsuit against Las Vegas police.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A man fired from an Oklahoma food processing plant beheaded a woman with a knife and was attacking another worker when he was shot and wounded by a company official, police said Friday.